Environmental Audit Committee wants evidence on low-carbon innovation and offshore wind

The Environmental Audit Committee has launched a new inquiry, Technological Innovation and Climate Change,considering how British innovation could tackle climate change, and is inviting written evidence.

The UK is expected to exceed the target set out in the third Carbon Budget due to phasing out coal and moving towards renewable energy sources. However, the committee highlighted that the fourth and fifth Carbon Budgets “will be much more challenging to meet, and the need for innovation will be of greater significance”.

The committee said that the UK has taken a leading role in the development and deployment of some low-carbon technologies, but some technologies, such as nuclear, have fallen short of expectations on performance or cost.

The first session of the inquiry will look at offshore wind power. The UK has the largest market in the world for offshore wind, and, following the Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal in March 2019, the Committee will consider the opportunities that will maximise the industry’s potential, and the challenges it faces in delivering greater capacity.

Environmental Audit Committee chair, Philip Dunne MP, said: “From wind to tidal, solar to hydrogen, there are scientists and engineers who are at the cutting edge of unearthing what could be part of the solution to a greener future. Supporting these innovators and industries is crucial if the UK is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“During this inquiry, my Committee will be considering a number of different technological innovations and whether the government is grasping this potential and offering the support they need to succeed.”

The committee is inviting written submissions on questions including:

  • How effective has the Government’s offshore wind sector deal been?
  • What level of output can the sector deliver in the UK, and what government support would be needed to achieve this?
  • How might the UK take advantage of further technological advances in offshore wind technology, particularly in relation to floating arrays?
  • What support does the sector require to keep pace with the most cutting-edge innovations, such as in blade technology?
  • What is the UK industry doing to promote the sustainability of offshore wind arrays throughout their entire life-cycle?
  • How well is the UK industry managing the environmental and social impacts of offshore wind?
  • How well is government policy supporting innovation in transmission technology to improve the efficiency of electricity transmission?

See the call for evidence here, written submisisons close on 15 May

Further reading

 Download your copy of the monthly New Power Report here, we’ve made the April issue free to download

From New Power Report: SuperGen’s Deborah Greaves discusses the move from fixed to floating offshore wind

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